People

Garou

The Garou (werewolves) believe themselves to have been created by Gaia as her defense against the Wyrm and Weaver. They are the ultimate predators in the World of Darkness. They revere the Wyld but are also steeped in millennia old traditions. They are fighting to survive in the modern world, but cling to the old ways. Adding to their troubles is the fact that only one in ten offspring of a Garou turns out to be Garou themselves. Worse still, their kin, the wolves, have been nearly hunted to extinction, leaving them with very few wolf mates. Thus they have had to make do with humans, thinning the primal instincts of the Garou so that a Homid Garou may never have seen a forest until after his First Change. There is one way to guarantee Garou offspring and this is to mate with another Garou. However, due to an ancient curse laid on the Garou, any offspring produced this way are deformed and sterile, marking them as obviously different. Their birth can put the life of their mother in jeopardy. Thus the Garou need to take their chances with humans and wolves to continue the line.
The Garou are a divided people, divided along lines of breed, auspice and tribe. Each Garou has a breed, auspice, and tribe and this means that they are not even uniform along a single trait. A Lupus Ahroun Child of Gaia is a far different creature than a Lupus Ahroun Shadow Lord even though they share two traits in common. The most severe divisions are between tribes, but breeds and auspices hold different values as well, which can contribute to conflicts in ideals.


Ajaba

A long time ago, Gaia saw that no wolves decided to live in Africa, so she created the Ajaba to be the warriors of the earth. These “were-hyenas” could do the same job as the Garou, but were more cat-like so that they could work with the Bastet. However, it did not work out. The Garou, upon discovering the Ajaba (as well as other Fera), slaughtered the other shapechangers quite liberally. In the mid-1980s, the Simba attempted to completely exterminate the hyenas. The widely misunderstood Ajaba are often considered extinct or nearing extinction because of these wars, but the hyena people are very much alive and kicking. These social Fera live in large clans; their society is strictly matriarchal, so Ajaba women are typically more aggressive and outgoing than Ajaba men. Their five forms are similar to the other mammalian shapechangers: homid (human), anthros (near-human), crinos (were-hyena), crocas (dire hyena), and hyaenid (hyena).


Ananasi

The Ananasi are “were-spiders.” Their name is drawn from the West African trickster/god Anansi. Grandchildren to the Weaver and the children of Ananasa, this race of shapeshifters was corrupted and coerced (through the imprisonment of their Queen, Ananasa) by the Wyrm into service for a considerable time. Though Ananasa was eventually freed and many Ananasi renounced the Wyrm, the Weaver did not forgive their lapse in loyalty. The Ananasi differ from the other Changing Breeds in that they do not have Rage, but instead use blood to fuel many of their gifts. The Ananasi are capable of acquiring a number of spider-like abilities such as multiple eyes, multiple limbs, venom, webs, as well as certain psychic abilities. Furthermore, they are the only Changing Breed whose animal form is not a single animal; Ananasi instead have “Crawlerling” form, which is a swarm of spiders. Their other two forms are Lilian and Pithus, a man-spider and a giant spider, respectively.


Apis

The last known Apis was the Minotaur of Knossos. They were so called after the Apis of Egyptian mythology. The Apis’ totem was the aurochs, or the wild ox, which were similar to today’s cattle only as wolves are similar to dogs. They were daytime Fera and were in charge of cultivation and agriculture. They were also known as “The Matchmakers of Gaia” whose job included teaching humans to respect nature. The extinction of the aurochs had nothing to do with the Apis extinction. They were driven to extinction by the Garou during the Wars of Rage, long before the aurochs itself began to decline.


Bastet

The Bastet (named for the Egyptian deity Bast) are “were-cats”. Servants of Gaia, their society is divided into tribes, but these divisions exist solely along lines of heritage and are not influenced by auspice. Loners by nature, as a rule they don’t form packs. On the rare, and dire, occasions when two or more work together, each member’s individuality is respected within the group. Being very secretive many Bastet are not proud fighters, but mere protectors of their territory. The Nine Tribes of the Bastet now number only eight, with one of their tribes apparently extinct.


Camazotz

Very little is known about the Camazotz, being one of the Changing Breeds that have been wiped out throughout the history of Gaia’s shapeshifters. Called the “Voice of Luna,” they were “were-bats” who functioned as messengers, spies, and umbral travellers. In the Revised Shadow Lords Tribebook, it is revealed that there is a clandestine group of Shadow Lords operating out of Mexico and the American Southwest, who have adopted the once-shamed Bat as their pack totem. It was also rumored that they would have something to do with the return of the Camazotz before the Apocalypse.


Corax

The Corax are “were-ravens,” and are among the least physically powerful of the Changing breeds. Despite this, they make up for their lack of brute strength with experience, secrets, cunning, and trickery. Unlike many denizens of the World of Darkness, the Corax have shown remarkable resistance to the corruptions of the Wyrm, the machinations of the Weaver and the madness of the Wyld, and reliably work to protect Gaia. They have neither tribes nor auspices, though they do form loose groups tied by a common purpose. In Asia lives a group of Corax called Tengu.


Grondr

The Grondr were “wereboars.” Among the changing breeds, they were appointed to be Gaia’s groomers. Their task was to root out the impurities from the land before they became huge problems. They were completely exterminated in the War of Rage, and their loss is a significant reason why the Wyrm is thriving so abundantly.


Gurahl

The Gurahl are “were-bears,” whose duty is as healers, both of tainted or damaged land and of injured creatures, both body and spirit. They are tied to Gaia to an extent experienced by none of the other Changing Breeds. Their refusal to teach the Garou their secret Gift, one that allowed them to bring the dead back to life, was one of the excuses used to justify the War of Rage.


Kitsune

The Kitsune are “were-foxes,” individualistic beings driven by insatiable curiosity. While the Bastet hoard ancient secrets and the Corax gather secrets of a more modern nature, the Kitsune are especially curious about magic in all its various forms. Their society is divided into four Paths, or schools, of thought aligned along elemental lines and correspond roughly to the auspices of other Changing Breeds in their functions. Unlike most elemental distinctions, Kitsune paths relate not to the four classic elements, but their combinations.


Mokole

The Mokolé are, in principle, “were-alligators, crocodiles and monitor lizards” though the broader classification of “were-lizards” may be more appropriate. They are the second oldest of the Changing Breeds, and are driven by an intense racial memory of their ancestors, the Dinosaur Kings. Through the practice of Mnesis, the Mokolé are able to tap into this ancestral memory directly, remembering events ranging from the recent past to millions of years ago. Their ancestral memory is also the source of an intense coming-of-age dream-quest that determines their “true shape”. Metis children are not found within the Mokolé, for they die before they are born, and become malevolent ghosts known as Innocents. The only Mokolé Stream that does not have a problem with the Ghost Children are the Gumagan. The reason that they do not have a problem with Innocents, is because the mother cooks and eats the dead child, thus reabsorbing its spirit back into herself.


Nagah

The Nagah are “were-Snakes” that originated in India. Most of the other changing breeds believe them to be extinct, however the Mokolé and the Hengeyokai are aware of their existence. The Nagah serve as the Judges of Gaia, filling the roles of silent and hidden judges and executioners for the Changing Breeds. They judge the other Changing Breeds by the codes the other Breeds establish for themselves. When in need to use force, they strike from the darkness using their supernaturally potent neurotoxic venom (available in all forms but Balaram, and in Balaram form with the right Gift.) The Nagah never hunt alone, for according to their lore, they were the ones that were responsible for the War of Rage, when Vinata was corrupted by the Wyrm.


Nuwisha

Of all the Changing Breeds, it is the Nuwisha, or “were-coyotes,” who have the strongest tie to the Umbra. They are tricksters, troublemakers, and jesters. Though once loyal to the moon in the same way as the Garou, they apparently perpetuated some prank against Luna so reprehensible that she turned her back on them entirely. As such, Nuwisha all represent the epitome of the Ragabash auspice, having no Rage at all. Nuwisha have no metis, though it is unknown if this is due to genetics or the fact that the wandering nature of Nuwisha makes it unlikely that two would every be together long enough to make a metis. Their trickster nature is perhaps best exemplified by the part of their “Litany” that is most often quoted by players: “Always PRANK the Wyrm.”


Ratkin

The Ratkin (or “were-rats”) were once charged with shepherding humanity’s urban masses, culling them quietly by eating their grain and spreading disease. Their role was supplanted during the Impergium and Wars of Rage, a blow from which they never fully recovered. With the onset of urban sprawl’s explosive growth, however, Ratkin are once again in ascendance. The most brutal and ruthless of Gaia’s children, Ratkin are pragmatists (a side effect of living almost entirely within and beneath cities), though they have made peace with the Garou, they still largely distrust them and by-and-large work in isolation from other shapechangers.


Rokea

The Rokea or “were-sharks” are the unquestioned rulers under the waves. They have only a few Kinfolk among humans, and exist mostly among their bestial relations (a reverse of the Hakken situation). Homid Rokea (those born by a Kudago (kinfolk) and a Rokea) are rare and found mostly among the Same Bito, the Rokea of the Hengeyokai. Those who decide to “Swim the Unsea” are hunted without mercy by their kind, which has become a rite of passage among the shark-born Rokea. As a result, theirs is the simplest and most brutal of societies among the Changing Breeds. Rokea see everything in relation to Sea, their Gaia equivalent, who commands them only to survive, and have had little to no contact with Unsea (i.e. dry land) until very recently. Rokea are ageless, they stop aging once they undergo their first change. Rokea have three auspices (though only Homids use the term), based on their complex interpretation of the sun and lunar cycle in Oversea (the sky). They had little invovlement in the War of Rage, but they are highly distrustful of everything related to the Unsea and so have poor relations with the Garou and most other Fera (except for some Mokole).


Fae

The fae are creatures of dreams, drawing magical power and their very existence from “glamour”, the dreams of mankind. Glamour created and maintains a separate realm of imagination known as the Dreaming, from which the fae originally came to the mortal world. During the Iron Age and the subsequent rise of rational thought and science, glamour became less common in the real world, and the opposing force of banality could injure or kill the fae. In response, the fae nobility (the sidhe) withdrew to Arcadia, their home deep in the Dreaming, and the commoner fae developed “the Changeling Way Ritual”, and became changelings. Eventually banality became so strong that the Dreaming was sundered from reality. This time period is known as the Shattering and it is associated with the time of the Black Plague. It was at this time that the Changeling Way ritual was created allowing fae souls to inhabit human bodies. For many years commoner changelings lived amongst mortals and made their way as best they could in a world where glamour was fading, this was the Interregnum. Then came the Resurgence, man landed on the moon and belief and dreams broke open the doors to Arcadia. Some sidhe were able to return by inhabiting existing human bodies. With the return of the sidhe and their desire to once again rule all changelings, the Accordance War broke out. Commoners and nobles fought for control of the freeholds and glamour until a peace accord was reached by the new High King David.
Traditionally, a changeling is a fairy child substituted for a human baby, but Changeling: The Dreaming uses a very different interpretation. In the game, a changeling is a fae soul born into a human body. Early in the human’s life, usually before puberty, she undergoes the “Chrysalis”, a magical awakening of the fae soul which previously lay dormant. Once through the Chrysalis, the Changeling exists simultaneously in both the real world and in the “chimerical” reality of the fae, where creative ideas and imagination have substance. (The metaphysical aspects of this are the complex concepts present in the game.) The human soul becomes joined with the fae soul.


Mage

Reality is not fixed, but rather a set of agreed upon assumptions enforced by the collective will of humanity, the Sleepers. Mages are those people who recognize that reality is not static, and realize that through the application of their will, usually channeled through rituals or other similar “mystical” or “scientific” practices, reality can be changed.
The specifics of their own belief, called a Paradigm, guides them into joining either one of the nine mystical Traditions (an ancient fellowship of mages of varying points of view), one of the five conventions of the Technocracy (an organization founded at the beginning of the age of reason to bring science and truth to humanity), or to strike out on their own as Disparates (unaffiliated mages), Marauders (mages whose paradigm has overwhelmed their sense of reality), or Nephandi (mages seeking to destroy or corrupt the world).


Mummy

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Vampire

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Wraith

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Mortals

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People

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